Florida Senate - 2018 SB 454 By Senator Brandes 24-00270A-18 2018454__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to limitations on homestead 3 assessments; amending s. 193.155, F.S.; revising the 4 timeframe when the accrued benefit from specified 5 limitations on homestead property tax assessments may 6 be transferred from a prior homestead to a new 7 homestead; deleting obsolete provisions; conforming 8 provisions to changes made by the act; providing 9 applicability; providing a contingent effective date. 10 11 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 12 13 Section 1. Subsection (8) of section 193.155, Florida 14 Statutes, is amended to read: 15 193.155 Homestead assessments.—Homestead property shall be 16 assessed at just value as of January 1, 1994. Property receiving 17 the homestead exemption after January 1, 1994, shall be assessed 18 at just value as of January 1 of the year in which the property 19 receives the exemption unless the provisions of subsection (8) 20 apply. 21 (8) Property assessed under this section shall be assessed 22 at less than just value when the person who establishes a new 23 homestead has received a homestead exemption as of January 1 of 24 any
eitherof the 3 2immediately preceding years. A person who25 establishes a new homestead as of January 1, 2008, is entitled26 to have the new homestead assessed at less than just value only27 if that person received a homestead exemption on January 1,28 2007, and only if this subsection applies retroactive to January29 1, 2008.For purposes of this subsection, a husband and wife who 30 owned and both permanently resided on a previous homestead shall 31 each be considered to have received the homestead exemption even 32 though only the husband or the wife applied for the homestead 33 exemption on the previous homestead. The assessed value of the 34 newly established homestead shall be determined as provided in 35 this subsection. 36 (a) If the just value of the new homestead as of January 1 37 is greater than or equal to the just value of the immediate 38 prior homestead as of January 1 of the year in which the 39 immediate prior homestead was abandoned, the assessed value of 40 the new homestead shall be the just value of the new homestead 41 minus an amount equal to the lesser of $500,000 or the 42 difference between the just value and the assessed value of the 43 immediate prior homestead as of January 1 of the year in which 44 the prior homestead was abandoned. Thereafter, the homestead 45 shall be assessed as provided in this section. 46 (b) If the just value of the new homestead as of January 1 47 is less than the just value of the immediate prior homestead as 48 of January 1 of the year in which the immediate prior homestead 49 was abandoned, the assessed value of the new homestead shall be 50 equal to the just value of the new homestead divided by the just 51 value of the immediate prior homestead and multiplied by the 52 assessed value of the immediate prior homestead. However, if the 53 difference between the just value of the new homestead and the 54 assessed value of the new homestead calculated pursuant to this 55 paragraph is greater than $500,000, the assessed value of the 56 new homestead shall be increased so that the difference between 57 the just value and the assessed value equals $500,000. 58 Thereafter, the homestead shall be assessed as provided in this 59 section. 60 (c) If two or more persons who have each received a 61 homestead exemption as of January 1 of any eitherof the 3 262 immediately preceding years and who would otherwise be eligible 63 to have a new homestead property assessed under this subsection 64 establish a single new homestead, the reduction from just value 65 is limited to the higher of the difference between the just 66 value and the assessed value of either of the prior eligible 67 homesteads as of January 1 of the year in which either of the 68 eligible prior homesteads was abandoned, but may not exceed 69 $500,000. 70 (d) If two or more persons abandon jointly owned and 71 jointly titled property that received a homestead exemption as 72 of January 1 of any eitherof the 3 2immediately preceding 73 years, and one or more such persons who were entitled to and 74 received a homestead exemption on the abandoned property 75 establish a new homestead that would otherwise be eligible for 76 assessment under this subsection, each such person establishing 77 a new homestead is entitled to a reduction from just value for 78 the new homestead equal to the just value of the prior homestead 79 minus the assessed value of the prior homestead divided by the 80 number of owners of the prior homestead who received a homestead 81 exemption, unless the title of the property contains specific 82 ownership shares, in which case the share of reduction from just 83 value shall be proportionate to the ownership share. In the case 84 of a husband and wife abandoning jointly titled property, the 85 husband and wife may designate the ownership share to be 86 attributed to each spouse by following the procedure in 87 paragraph (f). To qualify to make such a designation, the 88 husband and wife must be married on the date that the jointly 89 owned property is abandoned. In calculating the assessment 90 reduction to be transferred from a prior homestead that has an 91 assessment reduction for living quarters of parents or 92 grandparents pursuant to s. 193.703, the value calculated 93 pursuant to s. 193.703(6) must first be added back to the 94 assessed value of the prior homestead. The total reduction from 95 just value for all new homesteads established under this 96 paragraph may not exceed $500,000. There shall be no reduction 97 from just value of any new homestead unless the prior homestead 98 is reassessed at just value or is reassessed under this 99 subsection as of January 1 after the abandonment occurs. 100 (e) If one or more persons who previously owned a single 101 homestead and each received the homestead exemption qualify for 102 a new homestead where all persons who qualify for homestead 103 exemption in the new homestead also qualified for homestead 104 exemption in the previous homestead without an additional person 105 qualifying for homestead exemption in the new homestead, the 106 reduction in just value shall be calculated pursuant to 107 paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), without application of paragraph 108 (c) or paragraph (d). 109 (f) A husband and wife abandoning jointly titled property 110 who wish to designate the ownership share to be attributed to 111 each person for purposes of paragraph (d) must file a form 112 provided by the department with the property appraiser in the 113 county where such property is located. The form must include a 114 sworn statement by each person designating the ownership share 115 to be attributed to each person for purposes of paragraph (d) 116 and must be filed prior to either person filing the form 117 required under paragraph (h) to have a parcel of property 118 assessed under this subsection. Such a designation, once filed 119 with the property appraiser, is irrevocable. 120 (g) For purposes of receiving an assessment reduction 121 pursuant to this subsection, a person entitled to assessment 122 under this section may abandon his or her homestead even though 123 it remains his or her primary residence by notifying the 124 property appraiser of the county where the homestead is located. 125 This notification must be in writing and delivered at the same 126 time as or before timely filing a new application for homestead 127 exemption on the property. 128 (h) In order to have his or her homestead property assessed 129 under this subsection, a person must file a form provided by the 130 department as an attachment to the application for homestead 131 exemption, including a copy of the form required to be filed 132 under paragraph (f), if applicable. The form, which must include 133 a sworn statement attesting to the applicant’s entitlement to 134 assessment under this subsection, shall be considered sufficient 135 documentation for applying for assessment under this subsection. 136 The department shall require by rule that the required form be 137 submitted with the application for homestead exemption under the 138 timeframes and processes set forth in chapter 196 to the extent 139 practicable. 140 (i)1. If the previous homestead was located in a different 141 county than the new homestead, the property appraiser in the 142 county where the new homestead is located must transmit a copy 143 of the completed form together with a completed application for 144 homestead exemption to the property appraiser in the county 145 where the previous homestead was located. If the previous 146 homesteads of applicants for transfer were in more than one 147 county, each applicant from a different county must submit a 148 separate form. 149 2. The property appraiser in the county where the previous 150 homestead was located must return information to the property 151 appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located by 152 April 1 or within 2 weeks after receipt of the completed 153 application from that property appraiser, whichever is later. As 154 part of the information returned, the property appraiser in the 155 county where the previous homestead was located must provide 156 sufficient information concerning the previous homestead to 157 allow the property appraiser in the county where the new 158 homestead is located to calculate the amount of the assessment 159 limitation difference which may be transferred and must certify 160 whether the previous homestead was abandoned and has been or 161 will be reassessed at just value or reassessed according to the 162 provisions of this subsection as of the January 1 following its 163 abandonment. 164 3. Based on the information provided on the form from the 165 property appraiser in the county where the previous homestead 166 was located, the property appraiser in the county where the new 167 homestead is located shall calculate the amount of the 168 assessment limitation difference which may be transferred and 169 apply the difference to the January 1 assessment of the new 170 homestead. 171 4. All property appraisers having information-sharing 172 agreements with the department are authorized to share 173 confidential tax information with each other pursuant to s. 174 195.084, including social security numbers and linked 175 information on the forms provided pursuant to this section. 176 5. The transfer of any limitation is not final until any 177 values on the assessment roll on which the transfer is based are 178 final. If such values are final after tax notice bills have been 179 sent, the property appraiser shall make appropriate corrections 180 and a corrected tax notice bill shall be sent. Any values that 181 are under administrative or judicial review shall be noticed to 182 the tribunal or court for accelerated hearing and resolution so 183 that the intent of this subsection may be carried out. 184 6. If the property appraiser in the county where the 185 previous homestead was located has not provided information 186 sufficient to identify the previous homestead and the assessment 187 limitation difference is transferable, the taxpayer may file an 188 action in circuit court in that county seeking to establish that 189 the property appraiser must provide such information. 190 7. If the information from the property appraiser in the 191 county where the previous homestead was located is provided 192 after the procedures in this section are exercised, the property 193 appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located shall 194 make appropriate corrections and a corrected tax notice and tax 195 bill shall be sent. 196 8. This subsection does not authorize the consideration or 197 adjustment of the just, assessed, or taxable value of the 198 previous homestead property. 199 9. The property appraiser in the county where the new 200 homestead is located shall promptly notify a taxpayer if the 201 information received, or available, is insufficient to identify 202 the previous homestead and the amount of the assessment 203 limitation difference which is transferable. Such notification 204 shall be sent on or before July 1 as specified in s. 196.151. 205 10. The taxpayer may correspond with the property appraiser 206 in the county where the previous homestead was located to 207 further seek to identify the homestead and the amount of the 208 assessment limitation difference which is transferable. 209 11. If the property appraiser in the county where the 210 previous homestead was located supplies sufficient information 211 to the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead 212 is located, such information shall be considered timely if 213 provided in time for inclusion on the notice of proposed 214 property taxes sent pursuant to ss. 194.011 and 200.065(1). 215 12. If the property appraiser has not received information 216 sufficient to identify the previous homestead and the amount of 217 the assessment limitation difference which is transferable 218 before mailing the notice of proposed property taxes, the 219 taxpayer may file a petition with the value adjustment board in 220 the county where the new homestead is located. 221 (j) Any person who is qualified to have his or her property 222 assessed under this subsection and who fails to file an 223 application by March 1 may file an application for assessment 224 under this subsection and may, pursuant to s. 194.011(3), file a 225 petition with the value adjustment board requesting that an 226 assessment under this subsection be granted. Such petition may 227 be filed at any time during the taxable year on or before the 228 25th day following the mailing of the notice by the property 229 appraiser as provided in s. 194.011(1). Notwithstanding s. 230 194.013, such person must pay a nonrefundable fee of $15 upon 231 filing the petition. Upon reviewing the petition, if the person 232 is qualified to receive the assessment under this subsection and 233 demonstrates particular extenuating circumstances judged by the 234 property appraiser or the value adjustment board to warrant 235 granting the assessment, the property appraiser or the value 236 adjustment board may grant an assessment under this subsection. 237 For the 2008 assessments, all petitioners for assessment under238 this subsection shall be considered to have demonstrated239 particular extenuating circumstances.240 (k) Any person who is qualified to have his or her property 241 assessed under this subsection and who fails to timely file an 242 application for his or her new homestead in the first year 243 following eligibility may file in a subsequent year. The 244 assessment reduction shall be applied to assessed value in the 245 year the transfer is first approved, and refunds of tax may not 246 be made for previous years. 247 (l) The property appraisers of the state shall, as soon as 248 practicable after March 1 of each year and on or before July 1 249 of that year, carefully consider all applications for assessment 250 under this subsection which have been filed in their respective 251 offices on or before March 1 of that year. If, upon 252 investigation, the property appraiser finds that the applicant 253 is entitled to assessment under this subsection, the property 254 appraiser shall make such entries upon the tax rolls of the 255 county as are necessary to allow the assessment. If, after due 256 consideration, the property appraiser finds that the applicant 257 is not entitled to the assessment under this subsection, the 258 property appraiser shall immediately prepare a notice of such 259 disapproval, giving his or her reasons therefor, and a copy of 260 the notice must be served upon the applicant by the property 261 appraiser by personal delivery or by registered mail to the post 262 office address given by the applicant. The applicant may appeal 263 the decision of the property appraiser refusing to allow the 264 assessment under this subsection to the value adjustment board, 265 and the board shall review the application and evidence 266 presented to the property appraiser upon which the applicant 267 based the claim and hear the applicant in person or by agent on 268 behalf of his or her right to such assessment. Such appeal shall 269 be heard by an attorney special magistrate if the value 270 adjustment board uses special magistrates. The value adjustment 271 board shall reverse the decision of the property appraiser in 272 the cause and grant assessment under this subsection to the 273 applicant if, in its judgment, the applicant is entitled to the 274 assessment or shall affirm the decision of the property 275 appraiser. The action of the board is final in the cause unless 276 the applicant, within 60 days following the date of refusal of 277 the application by the board, files in the circuit court of the 278 county in which the homestead is located a proceeding against 279 the property appraiser for a declaratory judgment as is provided 280 under chapter 86 or other appropriate proceeding. The failure of 281 the taxpayer to appear before the property appraiser or value 282 adjustment board or to file any paper other than the application 283 as provided in this subsection does not constitute a bar to or 284 defense in the proceedings. 285 Section 2. This act applies beginning with the 2019 tax 286 roll. 287 Section 3. This act shall take effect on the effective date 288 of the amendment to the State Constitution proposed by SJR ____ 289 or a similar joint resolution having substantially the same 290 specific intent and purpose, if such amendment to the State 291 Constitution is approved at the general election held in 292 November 2018.